Sunday, July 02, 2006

By Violeta Veneracion, TOCarm
Regional Coordinator

On April 4, forty (40) TOC members of Cabanatuan attended a Recollection on the ‘Spirituality of the Paschal Mystery’ given by Rev. Fr. Reynold Oliveros. On the same occasion, three (3) members were administered the Hermitage Rites namely, Rosita Abando, Juliana Encarnacion and Emilia Hilario.

Meanwhile Fr. Reynold praised the TOC for their prayerful life, which according to him is the pillar that makes us holy. He further emphasized that spirituality without prayer is like a Gospel without Christ. Carmelite prayer life needs to be treasured as these produced many Carmelite Saints who had experienced the intimate presence of God in their lives.

The recollection was followed by our sharing of insights and reflections on how we have experienced the Paschal Mystery in our lives and in our community; how it has transformed our members into one, loving and sharing community.

As a community we have had our share of the passion and purification. There had been so much dissensions, divisions and intrigues in the past. At one time the community had refused to submit to national directives, but ‘dying to self’ had enabled us to triumph over the negativism prevailing in the atmosphere at that time. With God’s grace, good will prevailed. We had to undergo ‘death to self’, especially on the part of the local officers. Often times we have had to abandon personal ambitions, sacrificed our time, leisure and pleasure to serve the interests of the community. After the ‘dying to self’ or ‘self-denials’, we now experience life, love, joy and peace in the community.

After the recollection we felt we are ready to accept our crosses again and again because beyond these sufferings is the revelation of glory; beyond the cross is the crown of triumph; beyond death is eternal life.

April 11 – 12, 2006

Nine (9) members from Tarlac TOC Community attended the annual retreat on the ‘Carmelite Charism’ given by Fr. Pete Manilag, Jr., O Carm.

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